Psychology Wiki

Talk:Attachment Therapy/Archive 1

34,117pages on
this wiki

Back to page | < Talk:Attachment Therapy

Revision as of 22:49, November 10, 2007 by AWeidman (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.

I have removed the entire previous article and replaced it with the current Wiki article. The reason why I have done this is because the previous article was 'owned' and controlled by an editor who used at least 5 socks to own and control attachment related pages on Wiki for over a year. The apparent purpose for this was to obfuscate the nature of 'attachment therapy', promote attachment therapy views and definitions of attachment and, above all, advertise an obscure form of attachment therapy called 'Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy'. The editor concerned, User:DPeterson has been banned for one year after ArbCom proceedings and his 5 socks, User:RalphLender, User:SamDavidson, User:JohnsonRon, User:JonesRD and User:MarkWood have been banned from Wiki indefinitely. Fainites 16:35, 17 September 2007 (UTC)


To all professional and other readers of pages relating to attachment, its theory, disorders and therapies. Also complex post traumatic stress disorder and emotional dysregulation in children. All these pages and topics on Wikipedia were, until a recent arbitration, dominated by an army of sockpuppets promoting an attachment therapy theoretical base, diagnosis and treatments.[1] "Attachment therapy" is a largely American based, non-mainstream, unvalidated and highly controversial form of therapy for children, frequently adopted or fostered children. Following arbitration in July and August 2007 the sockpuppets were banned. However it is likely that similar attempts will be made to promote the same views and therapies on Psychology Wikia. The promotion included misrepresentation and misquotation of sources, edits designed to obscure the nature or even existence of attachment therapy, smear campaigns against opponents, edit warring and mass sockpuppetry to achieve fake 'consensus'. Anybody reading these pages would be well advised to be cautious and to consult reputable sources on the subject such as the Taskforce Report commissioned by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) on Attachment Therapy, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and Attachment Problems.[2] This report was compiled by Mark Chaffin, Rochelle Hanson, Benjamin E. Saunders, Todd Nichols, Douglas Barnett, Charles Zeanah, Lucy Berliner, Byron Egeland, Elana Newman, Tom Lyon, Elizabeth Letourneau and Cindy Miller-Perrin and covers the whole topic. Also the follow up letters and the Taskforce Reply to Letters [3]. Other reputable sources include a special issue of Attachment & Human Development devoted to the subject, at September 2003, vol. 5, issue 3, pp219-326 [4] by Zeannah and O'Connor, a 2006 publication by the Royal College of Psychiatrists Research and Training Unit (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) called "Understanding Attachment and Attachment Disorders" by Vivien Prior and Danya Glaser [5] and "Enhancing Early Attachments" edited by Lisa Berlin, Yair Ziv, Lisa Amaya Jackson and Mark T. Greenberg, part of the Duke series in Child Development and Public Policy, with particular reference to the chapter at p.313 by Thomas O'Connor and Wendy Nilson.Fainites 15:11, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Another good mainstream source is "Handbook of attachment: Theory, research and clinical applications" edited by Cassidy and Shaver. Concerning signs to watch for are highly exaggerated claims of the prevalence of Reactive attachment disorder or attachment disorder, often by conflating statistics on attachment styles with disorders, claims that high numbers or most maltreated children or adopted or fostered children are likely to suffer RAD or attachment disorder, attempts to obscure the nature of attachment therapy or pretend it is limited to certain extreme forms such as rebirthing or holding, links to attachment therapists sites and the promotion of attachment therapies as mainstream to cure all this. Fainites 16:12, 22 September 2007 (UTC)


I restored to the list of treatments Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and also the clarification on dates of publication of the APSAC task force report and the empirical studies of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. Your deletion of this was without discussion. The material is relevant and with proper referencing. The report's publication occurred before publication of the two empirical studies and the task force had no access to that material. Cheers Dr. Becker-Weidman Talk 23:14, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

It is specifically misleading to call your actions a 'restoration' and purport to chide me for deletion without discussion. DDP was not in the 'list' of mainstream therapies. Its not mainstream. Its not listed in Prior or Glaser or by the APA which is where I got the lists from. Here is the link. [6] This was properly sourced material. You have hidden the sourced Prior and Glaser maeterial by removing a section heading and then added your own list out of context. You deleted and altered parts of the article without discussion. I restored it. You have reverted. The onus was on you to discuss (as you suggested on the RAD page) before deleting and altering material.

Secondly, there was no confusion about the dates of publication. The Taskforce Report and Reply should go together in order to avoid creating a misleading impression. The Reply deals very specifically with the issue of whether your study constitutes an evidence base as you very well know, and says it does not. It is not appropriate to include DDP in lists of treatments described as mainstream or evidence based by authors as if DDP was one of them when it isn't. Don't you have a bit of a COI on the subject of DDP? Also what happened to your bit on the RAD page about 'lets discuss everything on the talkpage first' and 'do it in a measured way'?Fainites 23:23, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

I will restore the list of treatments as this was in the article before you began deleting. I think the listing is valuable. It can then lead to articles about each treatment. As I stated, the APSAC task force report was being written at a couple of years before publication of the two empirical studies on Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. It was then published before the two articles. You may not be aware of this, but articles may take several months to a year after submission before publication, so an article published in 2006, as the APSAC one was, was worked on in 2004 and submitted in 2005 for publication in 2006. I hope this helps clear up that confusion. Cheers. Dr. Becker-Weidman Talk 23:50, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Please look at the edit history Dr BW if your memory is really that short. I put this article on this site replacing a very out of date article from November 06 put on by Dr Kiff. This article did not contain that list. You added it, ignoring the section that already existed on treatments other that to remove its section heading. You then deleted other material. Your edits also duplicate, mess up the refs (which you have just done again), and frequently destroy grammatical or common sense. You have a conflict of interest on this issue as a the author of the DPP studies and a main propnent of DDP - something that is plain from your frequent insertion of your clinics website into these articles. Also I am afraid I simply do not believe that you are not aware of the Taskforces November 2006 to your own letter to them, making it very very clear that they did not consider your 2006 study constituted an evidence base. There is no confusion - only a refusal to accept plain facts. Cheers. Fainites 16:08, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

For any other editor - here is a link to the taskforces reply [7]. Here is what the Taskforce say about evidence base in their report and in the Reply;

  • "Some proponents have claimed that research exists that supports their methods, or that their methods are evidence based, or are even the sole evidence-based approach in existence, yet these proponents provide no citations to credible scientific research sufficient to support these claims (Becker-Weidman, n.d.-b). This Task Force was unable to locate any methodologically adequate clinical trials in the published peer-reviewed scientific literature to support any of these claims for effectiveness, let alone claims that these treatments are the only effective available approaches." (Chaffin et al, op. cit., p78)
  • "Regarding the issue of empirical support, it is encouraging to see that outcome research on DDP was recently published in a peer-reviewed journal. This is an important first step toward learning the facts about DDP outcomes. We congratulate Dr. Becker-Weidman on this work and hope he will continue to expand these efforts. The published study was not available until after the Task Force report was in press, so its findings were not discussed in the report. The question at this point is whether the published study might modify our original statements. In our estimation, DDP still does not meet criteria as an evidence-based treatment, although the published findings do raise hopes that DDP may be promising. Examining the study, it shares many of the same limitations noted in the Task Force’s evaluation of the Myeroff study (p. 85). For example, the study used a small convenience sample, participants were self-selected into treatment versus comparison conditions, the age range of participants was very broad (5-16), there was no direct statistical analysis of differential group change over time, outcome data were not collected by blind or impartial reporters, and the study utilized completer only rather than intent-to-treat methods. Of course, no study is without limitations; however, the fact remains that a single study with these sorts of major limitations, although a first step, is far short of the criteria that must be met before designating a treatment as evidence based. In general, we believe that designating a treatment as evidence based is a job for an independent treatment review panel (e.g., American Psychological Association, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], Office for Victims of Crime Task Force, Cochrane Collaborative, etc.) applying accepted and established scientific review criteria. None has listed DDP as meeting accepted criteria. Thus, it is our opinion that practitioners should not characterize or advertise DDP as an evidence-based practice at this time." From the Reply at p 382. Fainites 16:19, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Further, their citations of you in the Taskforce report under the sections about claiming evidence base and other matters were as follows;

  • Becker-Weidman, A. (n.d.-a). Attachment therapy: What it is and what it isn’t. Retrieved June 4, 2004, from

Becker-Weidman, A. (n.d.-b). Dyadic developmental psychotherapy: An attachment-based therapy program. Retrieved July 2, 2004, from

Presumably this was before your studies were published in peer reviewed journals 2006? I addition, contrary to your oft repeated assertion that the Report was written in 2004 (or even earlier) it contains much cited material from 2005. Fainites 16:33, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I can see that you feel quite strongly here and your zeal is appreciated. To clarify, the APSAC task force report was written years before the publication of the two empirical outcome studies regarding Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. Thus, the material in the report was accurate when written, but out of date when published. The letter did not include the four-year follow-up empirical study and may have even been based on a pre-publication summary of the article in Child and Adolescent Social Work. I note this since that article and the second, later, empirical study, both did include direct statistical analysis of differential group change over time, and the data for both were collected by another source (graduate students). Finally, both the report and letter were written before publication of the Craven and Lee article on the evidence-base of treatments, of which Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy was one treatment mentioned...and even in their study, they used a pre-publication version of the Child and Adolescent Social Work study, before data on the control group was published...hence their conclusions might be substantially stronger had they had access the the complete initial study with its control group and the later four-year follow-up study date. I hope this helps you better understand this complex issue. Cheers. Dr. Becker-Weidman Talk 16:45, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

There is nothing remotely complex about your refusal to acknowledge the existance of the Taskforces Reply on the issue of your papers. Nobody is suggesting the Taskforce had your study for their main report so you can relax on that one. But do you accept the existance of the Reply? Do you accept that the excerpt I've quoted above is accurate?. Do you accept that the Reply was published in November 2006, many months after Craven and Lee which was published in May 2006, and that it specifically addressed your study published in 2006 because you cited it to them in your letter to them? Do you accept that Craven and Lee put DDP along with holding therapy in Catgory three 'supported and acceptable' and that nowhere do they describe DDP as 'evidence based? These are all simple, non-confusing questions and answers would be appreciated.

Further, your first study in 2004 was published on your own website. The Taskforce cite your website in 2004 and also cite a range of material from 2005. Your study and follow up study were formally published in 2006. The Taskforce Report appeared in December 2005 and was published in 2006 so it was not written 'years before' your studies. Anyway, that's irrelevent because they address your study in their Reply of November 2006. The fact that they did not have the four year follow up study is also irrelevent because they a) criticise the methodology of the study which is not cured by a four year follow up and b) make it very plain that more than one single flawed study is required to achieve the status of 'evidence based'. It stretches credulity to suggest that a four year follow up study of the same study would have made any difference.Fainites 21:06, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

As I mentioned on the talk page for Reactive attachment disorder I appreciate your zeal and the ardor with which you present and fight for your very clear point of view. That can certainly help clarify points. However, your comments contain several errors. For example, the first empirical outcome study regarding the evidence basis for Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy was not published in 2004. It was published in the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal in 2006. What was on the website was only preliminary date that did not even include the control group's data. The APSAC task force began its work in 2004. Their reply did not address the second empirical study that compared the treatment and control groups four years after treatment and found continued improvement in the treatment group and statistically significant deterioration in the control group who received other treatments from other providers, not Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. Craven & Lee define the treatment, developed by Dr. Hughes, as meeting the standard for a level of evidence-based treatment. Again, I appreciate your zeal and your adherence to your specific point of view. I think it's helped make the points I've made much more clear and focused and, therefore, quite relevant and appropriate here and in the other articles you have a dispute with. Cheers. Dr. Becker-Weidman Talk 22:49, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Nope! Fainites 15:27, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

As already mentioned. your last edit messed up all the refs for the second time. Would you mind clearing it up please. Fainites 06:39, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

The timing I describe is factual and represents the writing and publication histories, which are clear for the journal dates. I realize that you may not be aware of the process of writing, peer-reviewing, and then the publication of professional articles. It is quite a long process from writing to submission and then can be a year or more from submission to publication, hence the APSAC group's article not including material published when their article was published. If you want more details on this process I can provide those, or, I am certain, Dr. Mercer or Dr. Kiff can. BTW, I fixed that reference...had to add the /ref tag. Cheers. Dr. Becker-Weidman Talk 13:25, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Come on, Art, you know very well that Craven& Lee did not say your stuff was evidence-based. That term isn't even part of the evaluation system they used. They said DDP was supported and acceptable-- however, the research did not meet the standards even for that. When C & L were criticized on their evaluation of DDP and holding therapy, they only attempted to rebut statements about their assessment of holding therapy. They stayed quiet about DDP. Why can't you just face facts and go on and do a better study? If you really think DDP is the way to go, isn't it worth your trouble to try to demonstrate this? The time you've spent arguing and trying to have your own way would have been enough to start a more acceptable evaluation.Jean Mercer 23:09, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I was wondering whether Jean could help develop an article reviewing the issues in attachment therapy that have lead to prosecutions around the world. What particular procedures are hazardous? with some guidelines for consumers. Also a section for mental health workers on how to organise their practice from an ethical and professional point of view to minimize the risks, pointing to an guidance available. Until I got involved here I had not realised there was such an issue. I think we could make it part of a series of articles on areas of practice that can have implications in the law. Dr Joe Kiff 23:13, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I'd be glad to help, but I can't do with being reverted all the time, or spend my time arguing about whether there are really interventions that use physical and psychological restraint or food deprivation as methods to treat Reactive Attachment Disorder. Anyone who doubts this should read the testimony given in California vs. Vasquez, 2007, as well as cases like that of Candace Newmaker (Mercer, Sarner, & Rosa, "Attachment therapy on trial", 2003)..

Your idea (legal implications) is an interesting one, though-- one of the biggest issues is the wide variety of definitions of attachment used in U.S. courts. I've covered this in a chapter in my book "Understanding Attachment" (2006) [this was such a good title that there are two books with it!].

Is there some method for asking people to contribute to a list of topics that should be covered? I'm all for planning these things rather than just having people jump in.Jean Mercer 01:03, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

You are not alone Dr Kiff in the UK in not realising this was such an issue! There is some evidence of a few attachment therapists moving in on the UK but I'd be surprised if most professionals have heard of it. BAAF have issued a fairly comprehensive statement on it though, against not only coercive practices but also its underlying theoretical base. Its linked in the Wiki article down towards the bottom.

The history of attachment therapy would be an interesting article in itself - tracing where its theories and practices come from and how they have (or have not) developed. Its current theoretical base, its practices, notable court cases notable professional statements/controversies on the matter would all make good articles. The current article on Wiki which I originally posted here has a stab at most of these issues, but certainly there is room for a more detailed analysis of the theoretical base that would be of interest to professionals. It also leads into issues about diagnosis and marketing - the use of the internet and lists of 'symptoms' for RAD or AD being key to this. The assessment measures attachment therapists use such as RADQ are also a topic in themselves. Fainites 15:25, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

This sounds very positive so I will set up a new article Cautions around the practice of attachment therapies and we can congregate there to plan in more detail as I think Jean is right about the need for this. I will copy over the relevant TALK section here too.Dr Joe Kiff 17:07, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki